Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Diablo III: Patch 1.0.3 Notes

The servers are currently down to patch up to the new version of Diablo. I found a list of patch notes on this site. Tons of details are available at the link but in some cases they're a little vague. Damage in Inferno Act II, III, and IV is being reduced, for example. To 99% of previous value? 75%? 50%? 10%? Who knows! It'll take some playing around to see. I've been playing around in Act III the last couple days and there have been mobs who can still one-shot me through force armor despite having 22k health and vastly improved resistances. Hopefully that'll change tonight!

Other interesting changes that I saw...

  • Elemental affixes on monsters will no longer give resistances to those elements.
  • Some brutal monster affixes got nerfed. Mortar has a bigger dead-zone. Invulnerable minions will have fewer health on the main guy.
  • The Lyceum can spawn again! I should be able to close out several achievements now.
  • The enchantress won't turn Robb into a chicken.
  • ilvl will now be shown on all high level items. I'm glad for this since my contention has been that I simply couldn't feasibly find upgrades from hell/Act I. Now I'll be able to see for sure if that was true or not.
They also posted specific post-patch drop numbers. Previous Inferno Act I and Act II loot will drop as far back as Hell Act III. The best stuff will drop from the entirety of Inferno. In all cases you'll get better stuff if you fight in a harder zone.

Sky, Tom, and I were musing on the way back from Andrew's place this weekend about the best way to get loot post-patch. Elites at the start of Act I will die significantly faster than elites at the end of Act III but will only have a 2% chance of dropping the highest ilvl item compared to 8% from the Act III mob. For the second tier of items it goes from a 7.9% chance to a 16.1% chance. And for something that salvages into Inferno quality materials the difference is 17.7% compared to 24.1%. Then there's the added trouble of actually finding elite packs to kill, time spent sifting through everything that drops, and how long it takes to build up a 5-stack of the buff and the worry of dropping it. My gut feeling was that just plowing through Act I over and over was going to be the best but I'd like some way to quantify things.

I'm thinking the idea might be to plot out a few potential paths to run. Keep a count of how long it takes to do the entire path, including loot sorting, and a count of how many yellow+ items drop on the run. Keep in mind that bosses are only guaranteed to drop one rare with a full buff stack and every elite pack is also guaranteed to drop one rare. What paths should be tested?

An advantage to starting early in an Act is you get to fight all the story bosses and they tend to be pretty trivial compared to random dudes. The advantage to starting late in an Act is you have a bunch of waypoints to hit should you get stuck in an area. Personally I can't get stuck in Act I, I don't think, but Act III has been a real problem. The areas there are pretty linear so if I run into a pack I can't kill I have to abandon the area entirely (or try to teleport hop to the exit).

For Act I my path should probably start with the north-west gate story point. Doing Haedrig's dirty work for him doesn't feel like it drops enough stuff and this way I should get to kill the Skeleton King, Warden, and Butcher along with practically every elite that spawns in the whole act. It will take a fair amount of time to complete but most of that time will be spent with a full buff stack so it should be reasonably optimal.

For Act II I think I want to kill Maghda at least. The plot points before her aren't terribly useful I don't think and I have to clear out most of the world map to get my buff stack pre-Maghda anyway. As things stand I wasn't able to kill Belial but I think with the infinite teleport passive I might be able to pull it off now. And if I can't, no loss, as long as I can kill the elites before him.

What about Act III? I haven't actually done most of the act, getting the plot point at the end from a game with Tom and Sky. So I can either start at the beginning or I can start at the end and cherry-pick zones without bosses. I'll probably try one of each just to get the rest of the plot points actually done on Inferno. I suspect I'll end up getting stuck behind an unkillable pack at some point, but it's certainly worth trying to see.

My initial money is on Act I being the best, especially since I should be able to switch back to my disintegrate spec and just murder everything. Playing with blizzard and piercing orbhas let me kill things in Act III but it really hurts my hand with all the frantic clicking everywhere. Anyone else have any paths that could be good? Any bets on which will work out best?


Sky said...

I tested doing late a2 today - the two Zoltan Kulle zones from his hideaway and then killing him and belial. The mobs in there did a *lot* less damage than before, I would think at least 30% less. I could run into groups and just aoe them down most of the time though I definitely had to respect the elite packs to some extent. Zoltan himself is much harder for ranged after the patch but thankfully zombie bear WD is honourary melee and it was no problem. Belail himself was a pushover, mostly due to better gear I suspect. Maghda is surely still a chump.

My feeling is that if you can safely kill belail and kulle then that is the best spot to farm a2. If not then maghda and random packs seem good. I don't know about the times but I am going to figure them out as quickly as I can and post the results comparing a1/a2/a3.

Tom said...

I did an act 3 run and then an act 1 run today. Act 3 felt harder than before, the damage nerf didn't change how many hits things took to kill me through force armour (30k hp, 400 res, 7k armour) so it was a bit of a slog due to losing a lot of dps to the IAS nerf. The spider queen boss was also much harder, the little spiders are much more aggressive on spawning and don't disappear after a while. On the bright side, once I was at 5 stacks packs frequently dropped 2-3 rares, so after my usual tower of the cursed-spider-azmo run I went and cleared keeps 1-3 and stonefort for some extra loot. Soul lashers are a lot easier now, at least. Based on that run 8% ilvl 63 items feels like less than before but maybe I just had bad luck that time.

Act 1 was a lot of fun in archon spec, nothing was remotely threatening and even elites died instantly. I tried act 2 in archon spec and it didn't go so well however, lacunis are still a problem, their mortar hits me for about 10k. I'll try it again later with my real spec.

Sthenno said...

I'm significantly tougher (30k health, 8.5k armor, 650 res, 1k life regen) but my damage is bad. I found act 2 to be completely playable and only died to serious mistakes.

I beat quite a few packs that I wouldn't have had a chance against before (including champion melee guys who moved significantly faster than me and an invulnerable minions pack with melee minions and a ranged rare). When I've cleared a pack down the rare or the last champ I can just tank him until he's dead. The damage is a *lot* less.

I also noticed I would often get 2 or 3 rares per pack with a five stack, and clearing A2 up to desolate sands got me about 50 rares. Unforunately, as we all know, level 63 does not mean good, and I vendored every last one of them - but at least the level 63 ones vendored for nearly 2k each.

Nick Page said...

Unless the price of crafting mats has dropped substantially in the last week you should be salvaging the level 60 items, not vendoring them. Dust is 2k and shards are 1k.

I played Act 1 yesterday before going to bed early. I got 84 rares in a little over 2 hours though I did have a monk friend tag in for half the run. I was routinely getting 3 rares per pack.